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Thursday, September 30, 2010

King's hunting at chess olympiad

() vs. ()
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Monday, September 27, 2010

Ivanchuk 5/5 at Chess Olympiad!

Vassily Ivanchuk must play between 2900 and 3000 Elo when he is in good shape. For now he is, he won all his Olympiad games so far. You can find them below. In all 5 games the same feeling: he wins effortlessly...

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Vachier-Lagrave outplayed Gelfand

() vs. ()
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Monday, September 20, 2010

39th chess Olympiad

I know it's not very original but Chess Olympiad are such a beautiful event I can't resist speaking of it!

In 2010 it will be played in Khanty-Mansiysk (Russia).

In the Open section, 150 teams are expected.
A tough battle is predictable between Russia-1 (Kramnik, Grischuk, Svidler, Karjakin) and Ukraine (Eljanov, Ivanchuk, Ponomariov, Efimenko). But there are a lot of other strong teams like China, Hungary (with Judit), Armenia (2006 and 2008 titles holder!!), Azerbaijan (withouth Gashimov), France (without Bacrot), Israël, England (experience+youth), etc.
Russia (last time winner in... 2002) will have 5 teams in Open, Russia-2 being 4th seed and Russia-3 19th!
Past winners

In the Women section, 108 teams are expected.
Here too Russia-1 is the hot favorite but hasn't win since... 1986!! Main rivals will be China, Ukraine and Georgia, as usual.
Past winners

First round will be played on September 21st, 11th round on October 3rd.

Friday, September 17, 2010

My Youth Ratings page

I worked on it for a while and I'm finally happy to announce the creation of my page on youth chess players sorted out by their FIDE ratings. You will find:
  • World tops 10 (boys&girls) in each category (U10 U12 U14 U16 U18 U20)
  • Full world ranking (all players) in each category
  • Country ranking in each category
  • Possibility to compare each country ranking to the world ranking 
Feedbacks are welcome!

I will probably update these pages on each new ratings list.
Next month (19-31 October) will take place 2010 World Youth Chess Championship in Greece.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Crazy computer tactical pattern

White took a knight in c6, Black (thus a piece down) just played Qd7, pinning the rook. After 1.Rc4 b5 The computer says white can stay in the game with the stunning 2.Ne5!! . Try to understand why.

(you can see the answer by clicking one time on the board and then with the right arrow of your keyboard)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Armageddon blitz

Vladimir Kramnik earned the 4th place for the 2010 Bilbao tournament (October) by winning the sudden death blitz game against Levon Aronian. Before that they played two 4'+3'' games, Kramnik won the first and had an easy draw in the second but forgot his clock and lost by time.
Here you can see these 3 blitz games :
As we can see, the end of the last one was somehow chaotic, but that's forced with only a few seconds on the clock. I would even say that these player are really dexterous and nifty.
It would have been quite unfair if Kramnik wouldn't have qualified because in slow games he won 1,5/2 against Aronian. I have no idea why direct encounter is still not the first criterion to decide between 2 players when one of them won, it's an heresy!

But no chess fan could be satisfied with this kind of end between world class players. It makes me remember 2 famous cases of sudden death in 2008 :

Krush - Zatonskih (US championship)

Socko - Foisor S. (Women World Championship) (beginning at 1:15)

In Socko - Foisor, first the arbiter decided it was a draw, but then Socko made an official claim which was accepted and she won the game, thus qualifying for the next round.

Losing the way Krush lost or the way Foisor lost, are definitely unsatisfactory for chess. I understand that at a point organizers want to put an end to the match, but in my opinion armageddon blitz should never be played without increments. Why not playing these armageddon with 5+2 for white (forced to win) and 4+2 for black? Would this really be an advantage for black? I'm not sure.
What is your opinion?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Double exchange sacrifice stories

The 5th game of the Gelfand - Leko rapid match played some days ago was a fantastic battle featuring 2 Rooks against Bishop+Knight+pawn+activity. Here is this great game, I added some comments and variations to the already good job of match commentators Berkes and Meszaros.
This made me think of another game with a double exchange sacrifice, Zhu Chen - Taimanov 1997. You can see it here too. Let me know if other games with this pattern come in your mind.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Ivan's oversight

() vs. ()
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Black just played Rxe3. Which tactical problem did he overlook ?

Friday, September 3, 2010

New FIDE ratings: young leaders

U20: Carlsen, Magnus 2826 NOR
U18: Caruana, Fabiano 2700 ITA
U16: Giri, Anish 2677 NED
U14: Nyzhnyk, Illya 2538 UKR
U12: Artemiev, Vladislav 2356 RUS
U10: Sevian, Samuel 2105 USA
U20: Muzychuk, Anna 2535 SLO
U18: Muzychuk, Mariya 2464 UKR
U16: Hou, Yifan 2578 CHN
U14: Zhai, Mo 2148 CHN
U12: Sidorova, Anna 2124 RUS
U10: Rosado Perez, Maria Jose 1981 COL

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

August report of the blog

Chess all over the world in August, it was :
  • 31 articles
  • 2 games commented in video
  • 10 commented games
  • 9 endgames
  • 11 selected exercises (all answers are here)
  • the first 3 games of Hammer in Arctic Stars commented here the same day at 21:07
  • Andreikin-Stupak commented some days before
  • Edouard-Tkachiev commented one day before
  • comments on French championships, British championships, World junior championships, among others
  • 1108 pages seen, thanks!

In September I will probably publish once every 2-3 days.